US 3819229 A
The chair back is reclined independently of movement of the footrest which is operated by a handle. Detents associated with the handle mechanism allow the footrest to be extended and retracted into any four positions including fully extended, fully retracted and two intermediate positions. As the back is reclined, the seat and arms which constitute a unit, are first tilted to a predetermined "bucketing" angle by the locking mechanism, forward rocking is inhibited then rearward rocking is also prevented by the novel locking mechanism. The locking mechanism mounts on the underside of the cam frame, between the cams and works off a torque tube that moves angularly about its long axis as the footrest is operated and which moves forward and upwardly and rotates angularly as the chair back is reclined. The seat and frame unit also move forwardly and upwardly as the chair is reclined. In the preferred form, the chair is a platform rocker; it may also be mounted on a swivel platform rocker base. The back is provided with tapered sleeves which fit over tapered tongues on the mechanism to allow the chair to be shipped knocked down, and then set-up. The footrest includes two sections which store one behind the other when retracted, then move to coplanar relationship as the footrest is extended to its first position to provide greater extension. The lazy tongs action of the footrest extending and retracting part of the mechanism is skewed to permit exposed front rail and/or high leg styling for the base. The design of the mechanism permits a particularly cushioning seat filling to be used.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Rogers, Jr. et al.
111 3,819,229 [451 June 25, 1974 ROCKER RECLINER CHAIR  Inventors: W. Clark Rogers, Jr.; Morton Snitzer, both of High Point, NC.
 Assignee: The Lane Company, Inc., Altavista,
 Filed: Mar. 15, 1971  Appl. No.: 124,055
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 87.280. Nov. 5,
 US. Cl. 297/84  Int. Cl A47c' 1/035, A470 3/02  Field of Search 297/224, 84, 85, D16. 7,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,817,388 12/1957 Knabusch et a1. 297/DlG. 7 3,141,700 7/1964 Fletcher 297/D1G. 7 3,163,464 12/1964 Martin et a1. 297/271 3,243,226 31 1966 Km 297/271 3,287,059 11/1966 Rosmarin 297/84 3,302,969 2/1967 Mizelle et a1. 297/D1G. 7 3,337,267 8/1967 Rodgers, Jr 297/84 3,352,601 11/1967 Cycowicz.... 297/270 3,359,034 12/1967 Re 297/85 3,475,051 10/1969 Crawford... 297/271 3,493,264 2/1970 Re 297/84 3,536,284 10/1970 Chickering, Jr. 248/224 3,537,747 ll/l970 Rodgers, Jr 297/271 3,572,820 3/1971 Ferguson 297/84 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-G. Moore Attorney, Agent, or FirmCushman, Darby & Cushman  ABSTRACT The chair back is reclined independently of movement of the footrest which is operated by a handle. Detents associated with the handle mechanism allow the footrest to be extended and retracted into any four positions including fully extended, ful1y retracted and two intermediate positions. As the back is reclined, the
' seat and arms which constitute a unit, are first tilted to 7 long axis as the footrest is operated and which moves forward and upwardly and rotates angularly as the chair back is reclined. The seat and frame unit also move forwardly and upwardly as the chair is reclined. In the preferred form, the chair is a platform rocker; it may also be mounted on a swivel platform rocker base. The back is provided with tapered sleeves which fit over tapered tongues on the mechanism to allow the chair to be shipped knocked down, and then setup. The footrest includes two sections which store one behind the other when retracted, then move to coplanar relationship as the footrest is extended to its first position to provide greater extension. The lazy tongs action of the footrest extending and retracting part of the mechanism is skewed to permit exposed front rail and/or high leg styling for the base. The design of the mechanism permits a particularly cushioning seat filling to be used.
1 Claim, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUNZSIHH SHEET 2 [IF 7 W C'LflH/f Hopes/min.
H w hm M 3% M Ml PAIENTEDJUNZSIBM sum 5 or? PAIENTEUJUNZSIGM siEtIsuH INVENTORS W a/mw POGf/ZS', (Lil 7. Mara/v S/w 7.2 5/7 ROCKER RECLINER CHAIR REFERENCE TO RELATED CASE This is a continuation-in-part of our copending US. Pat. application Ser. No. 87,280, filed Nov. 5, 1970, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION To a certain extent the precursors of modern rocker recliner chairs come from diverse fields surgical, barber and dentist chairs, automotive and aircraft seating, chaise lounges and other lawn furniture as well as living room-type easy chairs.
The number of such chairs which have been patented in the United States is extensive, although many of those patented since 1950, were issued to repeat patentees and are directed to variationson their earlierpatented designs.
A list of the prior U.S. Pats. of which the present inventors are aware has been filed in the US. Pat. Office concurrently with this document. In view of the extensiveness of this art it is considered more helpful to discuss the various types of modern chairs by group.
Certain platform rockers outwardly resemble rocker recliner chairs, but their backs are unitary with their seats and/or arms and so cannot recline. They merely tilt back.
Likewise, certain recliner chairs do not include cams mounted on a base and so cannot rock, but only recline.
A further distinction may be drawn between chairs which have operating handles (or equivalent operating devices such as push-pull rods, mechanical push buttons or electrical switches) and those which have no comparable devices. In the former instance, the handle or equivalent device often acts merely as a lock operator; in other instances it constitutes an operator for extending and retracting the footrest and/or an operator or trip for lowering and raising the back.
In recliner chairs which do not have operating handles, generally, the reclining and footrest operating portions of the linkages are interconnected so that reclining of the back causes extension of the footrest and raising of the back causes retraction of the footrest.
Another distinction may be drawn between modes of mounting and moving the seat. In some rocker recliner chairs the seats are pivotally mounted to the arm frame, the chair back and/or the cam frame. In this context, pivoting is intended to be interpreted in a narrow sense of part-circular arcuate movement about a fixed pivot point. Pivoted mounting of the seat is to be contrasted with fixed of combined translational and rotational mounting of the seat. One instance wherein the distinction is emphasized is the Knabusch et al. US. Pat. No. 3,096,121.
In most instances where the seat is pivotally mounted, reclining of the back causes the chair users center of gravity to be shifted rearwardly to an appreciable extent. Because of this shift, such chairs are usually provided with back legs which extend rearwardly from under the base and are exposed behind the base, e.g., six inches. Such legs are usually a dead give-away that the chair is a recliner. This, of course, restricts styling treatments which may be given such chairs. The rearward shift also increases the distance the chair must be positioned from a room wall so that the top of the back will have sufficient clearance during reclining.
The least elegant way to design a rocker-recliner chair is to take an existing recliner chair and provide it with rocker cams and a platform base. Several problems result from such design economy one important one being that there is nothing to prevent the chair from continuing to be able to rock after it has been reclined. The feeling an unwary user of such chairs can have upon fully reclining then rocking back, for instance in a continuing motion, is nothing less than very startling. Particularly in chairs whose seats tilt buck or move back during reclining, the permitted rocking during reclining can easily result in a frightening falling over backwards of the chair and its occupant.
An improvement on the complete lack of a lock is the provision of a lock which is operated manually, e.g., via a push-pull rod. These, of course, may have the disadvantage that a new user may not notice the handle until he has already reclined himself over backwards.
in locks which operate in coordination with exten- 'sion of the footrest or reclining of the chair, often only forward rocking is inhibited. This is for complex reasons involving a lack of mechanism in such chairs to bucket the user to a comfortable angle for reclining as an initial part of the reclining movement and a need to prevent the user from putting so much of his weight on the forward parts of his thighs, near the insides of his knees, that the retracted footrest is jammed into the floor, preventing reclining and/or desired footrest extension.
It is not difficult to see that locking mechanism designs of prior art rocker recliner chairs have imposed strict styling limitations on such chairs, both as to reducing the prospects for exposed wood styling and as to imposing such upholstering constraints that the resulting products look stolid and/or have poor seat comfort because the seat must be designed so it does not travel vertically very much as someone sits or bounces on it. With some prior art rocker recliner chair locking mechanisms, it is difficult or impossible to provide a swivelable variant because the parts of the base the lock works off would have to remain stationary as the remainder of the chair moved angularly, or because parts of the recliner mechanism would interfere with the base during swivelling.
in most recliner chairs and rocker recliner chairs which have footrests, lazy tongs or more or less equivalent mechanisms are used to extend and retract the footrests, which are usually constituted by one unitary ottoman (exclusive of skirts or shrouds). Accordingly such footrests are usually either misnomers (because they contact the average user at the back of his calves above his ankles) or they must extend so far that the lazy tongs are laterally unstable and/or are heavy and expensive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The chair back is reclined independently of movement of the footrest which is operated by a handle. Detents associated with the handle mechanism allow the footrest to be extended and retracted into any four positions including fully extended, fully retracted and two intermediate positions. As the back is reclined, the seat and arms, which constitute a unit, are first tilted to a predetermined bucketing angle by the locking mechanism, forward rocking is inhibited then rearward rocking is also prevented by the novel locking mechanism. The locking mechanism mounts on the underside of the cam frame, between the cams and works off a torque tube that moves angularly about its long axis as the footrest is operated and which moves forward and upwardly and rotates angularly as the chair back is reclined. The seat and frame unit also moves forwardly and upwardly as the chair is reclined. In the preferred form, the chair is a platform rocker; it may also be mounted on a swivel platform rocker base. The back is provided with tapered sleeves which fit over tapered tongues on the mechanism to allow the chair to be shipped knocked down, and then set-up. The footrest includes two sections which store one behind the other when retracted, then move to coplanar relationship as the footrest is extended to its first position to provide greater extension. The lazy tongs action of the footrest extending and retracting part of the mechanism is skewed to permit exposed front rail and/or high leg styling for the base. The design of the mechanism permits a particularly cushioning seat filling to be used.
The principles of the invention will be further hereinafter discussed with reference to the drawings wherein preferred embodiments are shown. The specifics illus trated in the drawings are intended to exemplify, rather than limit, aspects of the invention as defined in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the rocker recliner chair of the invention; FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the chair showing one of the two opposite side linkages of the chair, the one which carries the operating handle. In the condition depicted, the footrest is fully retracted and the chair back is upright;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation of the chair showing the side linkage of FIG. 2 in the same condition;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal vertical sectional view of the chair showing the lock when the footrest is fully retracted and the chair back is erect;
FIG. 4a is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the lock depicted in FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top plan view of the chair showing the side linkage of FIG. 2 in a condition wherein the footrest is fully extended and the chair back is erect;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the chair showing the side linkage of FIG. 5 in the same condition;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary longitudinal vertical sectional view of the chair showing the lock when the footrest is fully extended and the chair back is erect;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the chair showing the side linkage of FIG. 2 in a condition wherein the footrest is fully extended and the chair back is fully reclined;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of a variant of the preferred chair base equipped for 360 swivelling;
FIG. 10 is a longitudinal sectional view of one of the box channel end mounts of the variant of FIG. 9; and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the left side linkage showing a modification viewed with the footrest raised to its second intermediate condition.
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view.
from the inner side, of the left side linkage. the one which mounts the operating handle.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT THE PLATFORM ROCKER BASE The rocker recliner chair 10 includes as major components: a platform rocker base 12, a rocker cam unit 14; left and right platform rcker springs 16, which are conventional units; a lock mechanism 18; left and right side linkages 20, 22, which are mirror image complements of one another, excepting that the left side linkage (facing the chair) includes additional elements for footrest operation; a torque tube 24 extending transversely between the side linkages; a chair back 26; a chair seat and arm frame unit 28; a proximal footrest portion 30 and a distal footrest portion 32, which together constitute a footrest 34. The remainder of the chair 10 consists of various connecting upholstering and framing elements which are ancillary to the major components.
As depicted, the platform rocker base 12 includes two horizontal, longitudinally extending, laterally spaced side rails 36. The upper surfaces 42 of the side rails are smooth, flat and horizontal as they are the surfaces upon which the rocker cams run. The base I2 further includes a front rail 44 which extends laterally between the side rails near their front ends and a rear rail 46 which extends laterally between the side rails near their rear ends. In the embodiment depicted, the front and rear rails extend laterally outwardly beyond the side rails a few inches in order to provide mountings for left and right outriggers 48. The outriggers underlie the side edges of the seat and arm frame and carry front and rear feet 38, 40 for the chair. It should be noted that the rear feet do not protrude rearwardly anywhere near as much as the rear feet of most commercially available rocker recliner chairs. The avoidance of protrusion stems from the manner of hanging" the seat and arm frame from the rocker cam unit as will be apparent later on.
The outriggers provide stability for the chair, especially if someone sits on one of its arms, and provides an area which may be decorated with show wood, i.e., attractive veneers or solid fruit wood, nut wood or molded styrene or the like for instances where the upholstering style for the seat and arm frame does not include skirts.
Note now that the front rail 44 is mounted on edge, so that it is relatively thick in a vertical direction. This is because, during bucketing, the front skid of the lock obtains purchase against the front rail intermediate the side rails (but closer to one of them). Alternatives to mounting the front rail on edge would be to attach a floor engaging support block to the front rail underlying the contact region of the front skid or to mount the front rail so it engages the floor along its whole extent.
THE ROCKER CAM UNIT In the preferred embodiment the rocker cam unit includes two rocker cams 50, being a left one and a right one each having a compound curved arcuate lower surface 52 configured to support the rocker cam unit on the upper-surfaces 42 of the side rails 36. The attitude and curvature of the cam surfaces 52 determine the rate of deviation from horizontal while rocking, the ease of rocking during operations where rocking is not fully inhibited, the attitude of the chair when it is upright and no one is sitting in it, andtabsent the provision of other constraints) the extremes of rocking.
in order to integrate the rocker cams into a unit, there are provided cross members which are rigidly connected to the rocker cams. In the instance shown there is a first cross member 54 provided between the top-front corners of the rocker cams and a second cross member 56 provided between the top-rear corners of the rocker cams. The cross members 54 and 56 also provide sites for mounting the lock mechanism 18 and the side linkages 20, 22.
THE SIDE LINKAGES As pointed out initially, the side linkages 20 and 22 are mirror images of one another about the front-torear central axis of the chair, excepting that the side linkage which is on the left as you stand near the footrest and face the chair back has some extra components which are used to control operation of the footrest.
The left side linkage will be discussed'in detail, then it will be pointed out which of its elements are omitted from the right side linkage. The side linkages, sometimes referred to as hardware in the trade are made of stamped steel plate and are usually spray-painted flat black. Parts subject to most wear may be hardened or toughened by conventional techniques as will be understood by those skilled in this field of technology.
The left side linkage 20 includes a mounting plate 58 having a horizontal flange 60 and a vertical flange 62. The flange 60 is fixed on the top of the rear cross member 56 with screws 64. The vertical flange 62 has a first, horizontal-axis, inwardly extending pivot 66 near its upper rear corner and a second, horizontal-axis, inwardly extending pivot 68. Between the pivots 66 and 68 an outwardly extending stop boss 70 is provided. This boss is engaged by a pivoting link during reclining of the chair back, which engagement stops further re clining of the chair back at full recline or full layout (a synonym).
The upper end of one leg of a V-shaped link 72 is pivotally secured to the pivot 66; the upper end of another link 74 is pivotally secured to the pivot 68. The lower ends of the links 72 and 74 respectively carry horizontal-axis pivots 76 and 78 which, in turn, pivotally mount opposite ends of a link 84. The plate flange 62 plus the links 72, 74 and 84 constitute a parallelogram linkage which comes into play as the chair back is reclined to produce an upward and forward movement of the chair seat and arm frame.
The chair back is mounted on the upstanding leg 80 of an Lshaped link 82 whose omen-forwardly projecting leg 83 is provided with a horizontal-axis pivot 86 near its outer end. A link 88 has its opposite ends mounted on the pivots 76 and 86 and bows laterally outwardly between the ends where it carries an intermediate horizontal-axis rivet 90. The lower end connection of the link 88 to the pivot 76 is also a fixed connection.
The rear leg 92 of the V-shaped link 72 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 94 intermediate its ends. The L- shaped link 82 also carries a horizontal-axis pivot 96 at the juncture of its legs. A link 98 has its opposite ends mounted on the pivots 94 and 96. As the chair-user pushes back on the chair back to recline the chair back, the L-shaped link 82 pivots downwardly about the pivot 86 which moves the pivot 96 downwardly and forwardly, then upwardly. That motion, transmitted to the link 98 causes the rear leg 92 of the V-shaped link 72 to move arcuately abount an upwardly concave arc. Because of the pivotal mountings at 66 and 68, the action just described translates the link 84 forwardly and upwardly.
A stop boss 100 provided at the upper end of the rear leg 92 of the V-shaped link 72 engages an intermediate portion of the link 98 to limit erectness of the chair back when the chair back is returned from a reclined condition. The boss 100 is thus the opposite-extreme counterpart of the boss 70.
It should now be noticed that the link 84 projects a short distance forwardly of the pivot 78; the projection 102 carries a horizontal-axis major pivot 104. This pivot (104) also mounts a two-plane L-shaped link 106 near the base of the leg 108 of the link that lies in a vertical plane. The other leg 110 of the link 106 extends inwardly and is provided with bolt holes 1 1 1 for mounting one end region of the torque tube 24, via bolts 112. The pivot 104 also mounts the plate 114 and the link 116. The links 106 and 116 are fixed on the pivot 104 to rotate with it; the pivot 104is rotatable with respect to the plate 114 and the link extension 102.
The link 116 is L-shaped in a vertical plane and has a fold in its longer leg to produce an outwardly extending crank tab 118.,lt is this tab to which the operating handle 120 is secured via an angle iron/box channel in terrnediate assembly 122 secured to the back of the decorative-wood handle.
The portions of the side linkage which are about to be described operate the footrest and mount the seat and arm frame unit.
The left side edge of the underside of the seat of the latter is placed upon the horizontal plane flange 123 of the rail 124 and screwed in place at 126. The central portion of the vertical plane flange 125 of the rail 124 is secured to the upper margin of the plate 114 with a rivet 128 and a horizontal-axis rivet 130.
Basically, the footrest is caused to extend and retract by rotation of the operating handle 120, which rotates the box channel 122 about its own longitudinal axis, which, in turn, arcs the vertical plane portion of the link 116 about the pivot 104 to which the link 116 is fixed. (Because of the fixation of the link 106 to the pivot 104 also, this rotational motion is transmitted via the torque tube 24 to the corresponding link 116 of the right side linkage.)
The lower end of the link 106 vertical leg 108 is provided with a horizontal-axis pivot 132 (FIG. 12).
The lower edge of the plate 114 is arcuate, convex downwardly at 134, and proceeding forwardly is pro vided with two generally upwardly facing shoulders or notches 136, 138 and, uppermost, a deeper notch 140. The pivot 132 has a long axis shank which mounts a tubular collar 142. The collar 142 is positioned to clear the arcuate surface 134.
The pivot 132 mounts an intermediate part of a link 144 whose forward end carries a horizontally outwardly projecting pin 146 positioned to ride along the surface 134 and to engage the shoulders 136, 138 and slot 140.
The opposite end of the link 144 carries a horizontalaxis pivot 148 which also mounts the lower end of the link 116 and receives the coil portion of a spring 150 whose one end fits through a slot opening 152 in the link 116 near the pivot 148 and whose opposite end bears against the collar 142 on the pivot 132. The spring is coiled in a sense to bias the pin 146 against the surface 134, the shoulders 136 and 138 and the slot 140. (Items 134-140 are collectively referred to as the footrest control cam.)
However, application of rearward rotational torque on the operating handle 120 causes rotation of the link 1 16 about the pivot 104, which moves the lower end of the link 116 rearwardly. This action moves the pivot 148 rearwardly causing the link 144 to pivot about the pivot 132, against the biasing action of spring 150 thus moving the pin 146 out away from the surface 134, the shoulders 136, 138 and/or the slot 140 so long as that torque continues to be applied to the operating handle 120.
When the chair-user lets go of the operating handle, the relaxation of the torque permits the spring 150 to rotate the link 144 until the pin 146 is back in engagement with the footrest control cam. It should be apparent that when the footrest is fully retracted, the pin 146 is in engagement with the surface 134, when the footrest is in its first partly extended position the pin 146 is in engagement with the shoulder 136, when the footrest is in its second partly extended position the pin 146 is in engagement with the shoulder 138 and when the footrest is in its fully extended condition the pin 146 is engaged in the slot 140. (Because of the shapes of the neighboring surfaces of footrest control cam, the shoulders 136 and 138 can be considered to be outwardly opening slots which are easy to enter as the pin is moving from 134 toward 140, but impossible to slide out of in the reverse direction, absent operation of the pin withdrawing mechanism just described.)
The portion of the side linkage mechanism for extending and retracting the footrest includes modified lazy tongs comprising two links 154, 156 which are spaced along the rail 124 to the vertical flange of which their upper ends are pivoted at 158, 160. The lower end of the link 154 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 162 which pivotally mounts the rear end of a long forwardly extending link 164. The link 156 projects below the link 164 and has an intermediate portion pivotally secured to an intermediate portion of the link 164 by a horizontal-axis pivot 166. It should be noticed that the members pivoted to one another at the pivots 162, 166, 160 and 158 constitute another parallelogram linkage.
The end of the link 156 which extends below the link 164 carries a horizontal'axis pivot 168 which pivotally mounts the rear end of a forwardly and upwardly extending link 170. About three-fifths of the way toward its forward end, the link 170 is provided with a horizontal-axis pivot 172 which pivotally mounts the intermediate portion of a short link 174. The lower end of the link 174 is pivoted to the forward end of the link 164 by a horizontal-axis pivot 176. The upper end of the link 174 is pivoted to the rear end of a forwardly projecting link 178 by a horizontal axis pivot 179.
The link 178 crosses past the link 170 and has an intermediate portion pivotally secured to the primary footrest (closer footrest half) mounting bracket 180 by a horizontal-axis pivot 182. The forward end of the link 170 is pivotally secured to the primary footrest mounting bracket by a horizontal-axis pivot 184 which is located forwardly and upwardly from the pivot 182. The footrest hardware further includes a secondary footrest mounting bracket 186 which has an upper and a lower horizontal-axis pivot 188, 190, which respectively become rearmost and foremost when the footrest is fully extended. The primary footrest mounting bracket 180 has a lower horizontal-axis pivot 192 which corresponds to the pivot of the secondary footrest mounting bracket. A parallelogram link 194 extends between pivotal mounting on the pivots 184 and 188; another parallelogram link 196 extends between pivotal mounting on the pivots 192 and 190.
An operator link 198 for the footrest lazy tongs has a rear end pivotally secured to an intermediate portion of the link 154 by a horizontal-axis pivot 200 and has a lower end pivotally secured to the horizontal-axis pivot 132.
An operator link 202 for the secondary footrest (further footrest half) has one end pivotally secured to the forward end of link 178 by a horizontal-axis pivot 204 and has its opposite end pivotally secured to an intermediate portion of the parallelogram link 196 by a horizontal-axis pivot 206.
Whenthe footrest is fully retracted, the modified lazy tongs are very compact; the secondary footrest lies tucked behind the primary footrest. As the footrest operating handle is rotated in a sense to extend the footrest, the scissored links extend forwardly and upwardly until they are almost aligned. During this activity, the parallelogram linkage at 180, 194, 186, 196 operates to send the secondary footrest under, then forwardly of the primary footrest as both footrest halves change from a generally vertical disposition to a generally horizontal disposition. This action, and the lengths of the linkage elements 180, 194, 186, 196 cause the footrest to be compact when stored, yet much more extensive when fully extended than conventionally constructed footrests.
In the preferred embodiments, the structures which have been described as horizontal-axis pivots are steel pins, initially headed on one end, then axially squeezed to provide an enlargement at the distal end of the shank after being inserted through aligned openings in the parts to be pivotally secured to one another. The openings are sufficiently large to allow the desired pivoting and the squeezing is controlled to prevent axially binding the joint formed. Bushings, e.g., steel washers are inserted between most of the link ends on each pivot to enhance the pivotability of the joint and to reduce binding and wear.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE LINKAGES On the right side, the plate 114 is not as wide and does not have a footrest operating cam; the link 106 is omitted as are the link 144 and the spring 150 and the portion of the link 116 which extends below the pivot 104.
THE CHAIR BACK AND UPHOLSTERY In the preferred embodiment the chair back 26 comprises a wooden frame covered with springing, stuffing and upholstery. At the lower extents of the sides, the chair back is provided with brackets 208 for receipt of the upwardly projecting legs 80 of the L-shaped links 82. It should now be noticed that the legs 80 taper as they proceed upwardly; the channels 210 of the brackets 208 taper in correspondence with the legs 80. Thus assembly of the chair back to the side linkages involves slipping the bracket 208 channels 210 over the legs 80 and lowering the back until the legs have homed" in the channels. Then screws 212 may be run through the aligned openings 214, 216 to secure the back to the chair.
Note that both the chair back and the seat and arm frame can be fully manufactured and upholstered before being installed on the chair. (Offline manufacture and upholstering of these units is considered advantageous because problems occurring during one operation need not affect assembly.)
The ease of assembly of the back to the chair means the chair can be shipped in a knocked-down condition, i.e., with the back separate fromthe rest of the chair and packed with the rest of the chair in amuch more compact box than could be the case if the chair were shipped fully assembled.
In order to improve the appearance of the juncture of the chair seat and back as seen from behindthe chair while the chair back is erect, a flap of upholstery may be provided which extends from below the remainder of the chair back and zips onto the upholstery of the seat and arm frame near the lower rear marginal edge of the latter. The upholstery may also include side skirts on the seat and arm from sides and back to mask the chair hardware"; similar service may be performed by a flap of upholstery extending from the chair seat front, below its cushion, to the rear edge of the primary footrest, between the modified lazy tongs of the footrest operating portions of the side linkages. An other flap 217 is shown flipped up from the primary footrest 30 to expose the secondary footrest 32.
THE PLATFORM ROCKER SPRINGS These elements 16 are conventional units which are conventionally secured to the insides of the cams and platform rocker base. They provide a datum for the chair in providing restoration force means tending to return the chair, when rocked, to an intermediate condition between rocked back and rocked forward.
THE PREFERRED LOCK MECHANISM It is important to note that, in the preferred embodiment, the lock and side linkages are separate from one another and affect one another via the torque tube 24 to which both the side linkages and the lock are connected.
The preferred lock 18 is a unitary assembly which is mounted on the underside of the front and rear cross members 54, 56 of the rocker cam unit and is also connected to the torque tube to be operated through translational and rotational movement of the torque tube with respect to the rocker cam unit and the platform rocker base 12.
As shown, the lock 18 is relatively narrow in a sideto-side direction and relatively long in a front-to'back direction. It is installed at a location laterally offset from the front-to-back center line of the chair, about halfway toward one of the rocker cams in order to shorten the moment arm for flexure of the front rail 44 of the rocker cam base when the lock front skid presses down on it, to keep those portions of the lock which project upwardly from being directly under the partof the seat which is distended downwardly the most when someone is sitting in the chair, and. in the instance where tolerances have not been fully observed. to minimize the effect of lifting of the cams 50 from their running surfaces on the platform rocker base side rails when the lock operates. (If the lock were right in the center of the chair, alift-off could permit the chair to rock from side-to-side as the cams alternately landed on their respective running surfaces.) This is undesirable. Offset mounting predisposes that any lift-off will occur between the cam and running surface which are nearest the lock. The lift-off, even when it happens, is slight and the offset, will not produce lateral rockability.
The lock mechanism includes a right angle bracket 218 having a horizontal" flange 220 screwed to the bottom of the rear cross member 56 at 224. The bracket 218*also includes a vertical flange 226. A long link 228 is riveted to the vertical flange 226 near the rear end of the link 228; The forward end of the link 228 is bent over to produce a tab 230 that is screwed to the underside of the front cross member 54 at 232. The link 228* is aligned in a vertical plane and is cut with a dip nearer its forward end. At the dip, a horizontal-axis pivot 234 is carried by the link 228; An L- shaped link 236 is rotatably mounted on the pivot 234 at the juncture of the legs of the link 236. The forward end of the forward leg of the link 236-mounts a skid 238 made of nylon or the like to provide a relatively noiseless and lubricous, slightly resilient touch-down for the lock mechanism with respect to the top of the front rail 44.
The rear end of the rear leg of the link 236 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 240. The link 236 is oriented so its elbow is presented downwardly.
The rear end of the link 228 projects a short distance rearwardly beyond its mounting on the rear cross member 56 and at its end carries a hori2ontal-axis pivot 242. An L-shaped link 244 is pivotally mounted at its leg juncture region on the pivot 242. The elbow of the link 244 faces forwardly or upwardly depending on the condition of the lock. The leg of the link 244 which is at times lowermost and at times foremost has its distal end provided with a horizontal-axis pivot 246. The opposite leg ,distalend carries a roller assembly 248 mounted for rotation on a horizontal-axis pivot 250. As depicted, the roller assembly 248 includes a pair of rollers, one on each flank of the link 244 elbow. The rollers may be made of the same material as the skid 238 and are positioned to land on the rear rail 46of the platform rocker base during operation of the lock.
A long link 252 which is slightly crooked downwardly intermediate its ends has its forward end pivotally secured to the pivot 240 and its rear end pivotally secured to the pivot 246.
The lock elements which will now be described transmit movement from the torque tube to the lock elements already described in order to operate the lock. They include a C-shaped bracket 254 having its back aligned with and bolted to one side of the hollow square-sectioned torque tube 24.. One end of an L- shaped link 256 is pivotally secured to the end of one leg of the bracket 254 by a horizontal-axis pivot 258. The other end of the L-shaped link 256 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 260. Intermediate its downward crook and its rear end, the link 228 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 262. A link 264 which has an upward crook and a lateral offset and return intermediate its ends has one end pivotally mounted at 262 and its other end pivotally mounted at 260. Within the lateral offset, the link 264 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 266. The link 252 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 268 at its downward crook and a link 270 is mounted so that one of its ends is pivoted at 266 and the other of its ends is pivoted at 268.
The other leg 272 of the C-shaped bracket 254 mounts a helper spring. The two legs of the bracket 254 could be on separated elements; providing them on the same element simplifies assembly of the chair. The outer end of the short leg 272 carries a horizontal-axis pivot 274 which pivotally mounts one end of a short link 276 whose opposite end carries a horizontal-axis pivot 278. There is provided an arcuate link 280 which has one end pivotally mounted at 278 and which has an opening 282 in its opposite end for receipt of one hooked end of a tensioning helper coil spring 284 whose opposite end is secured to the underside of the front of the seat of the seat and arm frame for assisting in retraction of the footrest. The links 276 and 280 can be considered as a composite link articulated at 278 in order to decrease the envelope of upward extension of the composite link as the torque tube is operated, to correspondingly decrease the space needed between the seat and the torque tube to accommodate operation of that link.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a middle portion of the left side linkage. The structure depicted in this figure should be compared with that shown in FIGS. 3 and 6 which show the comparable structure of the first embodiment. The Differences In FIG. 3, the upper end of the link 154 is pivoted to the rail 124 by the same pivot 158 which secures the rear extension of the upper end of the plate 114 to the rail. In the FIG. 11 embodiment, the upper end of the link 154 is pivoted to the rail 124 by a pivot 158 A, displaced somewhat rearwardly compared to the location of the FIG. 3 pivot I58, and the rear of the upper end of the plate 114 has its rearward extension eliminated and is secured to the rail 124 by a separate rivet 158 B, displaced somewhat forwardly compared to the location of the FIG. 3 pivot 158. Because of the elimination of the rearward extension on the plate 114, a significant saving of plate stock is realized.
In FIG. 3, the pivot 132 serves the dual purpose of providing a fulcrum for the cam follower-bearing link 144 and a pivotal connection for the lower end of the footrest operator link and the lower end of the crank link 108. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, the pivot 132 has been divided: the fulcrum function remains provided as it was, at 132 A, only on the left side linkage. The lower end of the crank line is extended a short distance, e.g., a couple of inches, down past the fulcrum pivot 132 A and is provided with a pivot 132 B to which the lower end of the footrest operator link is connected.
Those skilled in the art of rocker-recliner chair hardware design will now appreciate that moving the mounting 158 A rearwardly and the pivot I32 B downwardly relatively decreases the amount of footrest extension that occurs before the rocker cam unit is bucketed and the ability of the chair occupant to rock forwardly is fully inhibited.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PREFERRED LOCK Extending the Footrest Grasp the operator handle and begin rotating it; this rotates the torque tube. The front skid drops preventing forward rock. Upon further rotation, bucketing begins and the rear roller is dropping. By the time the first extension position of the footrest is reached, the rear roller has landed; forward and rearward rocking are fully inhibited, i.e., the chair-user is supported in such a manner that he cannot rock. At this stage most of the lock mechanism is in its final position. Further rotation of the handle relaxes the helper spring due to angular movement of its arcuate connector. The arcuate connector for the lock connection to the torque tube wraps around the torque tube during this further rotation of the handle, losing motion with respect to the lock.
RECLINING WITH THE FOOTREST ALREADY EXTENDED The seat and arm frame move upwardly and forwardly, with respect to the remainder of the chair, about the parallelogram portions of the side linkages. Motion between the torque tube, which moves upwardly and forwardly with the seat and arm frame unit, and the lock which remains engaged as it was, is accommodated in lost motion by unwrapping of the arcuate connector of the lock from about the torque tube.
RECLINING WITHOUT EXTENSION OF THE FOOTREST As the back is pushed down the torque tube does not move with respect to the seat and arm frame; it moves upwardly and forwardly with the seat and arm frame. The arcuate connector of the lock is caused by upward and forward movement of the torque tube to drop the front stabilizer, begin bucketing" then land the rear roller. Full reclining of the back is achieved at just about the same point in time as landing of the rear roller. If the footrest is extended after the back as been reclined, rotation of the torque tube by the operating handle causes wrapping of the arcuate connector of the lock about the torque tube, in lost motion, without otherwise affecting the lock.
LOWERING THE F OOTREST Grasp the operating handle and in one smooth movement, rotate it forwardly to its initial angular disposition: the footrest will smoothly return from a fully extended to a fully retracted condition. Alternatively, grasp the operating handle, rotate it forwardly slightly, then let it go. It will then rotate further until the footrest position pin drops into the second extended position slot or shoulder on the footrest position cam. If desired, tap the handle for a second time; the pin will withdraw from the shoulder or notch and the footrest will retract to its first extended position where the footrest position pin drops into the first extended position shoulder or slot on the footrest position cam. Tapping the operating handle forwardly a third time will cause the footrest to drop to a fully retractd condition. Of course, the footrest may be brought directly from the second extended position to the fully retracted position by forward rotation of the handle as explained under the preceding section. Also, the footrest may be raised from any intermediate position should the user change his mind after partly retracting the footrest and decide to extend it.
DIFFERENCES FOR THE SWIVEL VARIANT With reference to FIGS. 9 and 10 a variation of the preferred embodiment of the chair is shown modified and equipped for 360 swivelling about a vertical axis. FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the modified platform rocker base; all of the preferred embodiment above the platform rocker base remains as depicted in the earlier Figures.
The base 12 is modified by omission of the supporting Outriggers 48; by inclusion of two laterally spaced box channels 290 with flat tabs 292 (FIG. l) welded on opposite ends. The tabs 292 are pierced at 294 to accept bolts 296 for securing the box channels to the undersides of the front rail 44 and back rail 46. The channels 290 are sufficiently close to one another that they do not interfere with normal operation of the plat form rocker springs 16 and sufficiently far apart that they do not interfere with normal operation of the lock 18. The upper plate 298 of a swivel assembly 300 is secured to the channels 290 at 302. The lower plate 304 of the swivel assembly 300 is secured at 306 on the topcenter of a large disk 308, e.g., of plywood or steel plate. The disk 308 has a diameter preferably almost as large as the largest diagonal width of the chair seat and arm frame. The large diameter of the'disk is what obviates the need for the chair base Outriggers. Between the plates of the swivel assembly is a circular set of roller bearings (not depicted). Such swivel assemblies are presently commercially available, preassembled.
Operation of the swivel variant of the chair is as described in respect to the non-swivelling preferred embodiment, the swivelling capability being an additional feature.
It should now be apparent that the rocker recliner chair as described herein above possesses each of the attributes set forth in the specification under the heading SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION hereinbefore. Because the rocker recliner chair of the invention can be modified to some extent without departing from the principles of the invention as they have been outlined and explained in this specification, the present invention should be understood as encompassing all such modifications as are within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A rocker recliner chair, including: a base;
a rocker cam unit rockably mounted on the base;
a seat and arm frame unit;
a chair back;
a left side linkage and a right side linkage mounted on the rocker cam unit;
the left and right side linkages each comprising a first parallelogram linkage system for hangingly mounting the chair seat and arm frame unit from the rocker cam unit and including: first, rearmost and second, foremost, longitudinally spaced, transversely, horizontally extending pivots fixedly mounted on the rocker cam unit at a respective side thereof; a V-shaped link pivotally connected at the upper end of the foremost leg thereof to said first, rearmost pivot so as to hang therefrom; another link pivotally connected at the upper end thereof to said second, foremost pivot so as to hang t 14 therefrom; a generally longitudinally extending link having a first pivotal connection to the V-shaped link, rearwardly of the former and near the apex of the latter and having a second pivotal connection, to said other link, forwardly of the generally longitudinally extending link and near the lower end of said other link; first and second longitudinally spaced, upwardly extending members fixedly secured on the generally longitudinally extending link; and a generally longitudinally extending rail secured on said first and second upwardly extending members; the chair seat and arm frame unit being mounted on said rail of each of the left and right side linkages;
the left and right side linkages each further including a second parallelogram linkage system including: said rail having first, rearmost and second, foremost, longitudinally spaced, transversely extending pivots mounted thereon; a first depending link pivotally mounted to hang from said first pivot of said rail, a second depending link mounted to hang from said second pivot of said rail; and a long, generally horizontally, longitudinally extending link having a first pivotal connection, to the first depending link, near the rear of the former and the lower end of the latter and having a second pivotal connection, to the second depending link, intermediate the ends of said long link and near the lower end of the second depending link, the second depending link protruding below said long link;
the left and right side linkages each further including a footrest mounting lazy tong system, comprising: means defining a transversely extending pivot at the lower end of said second depending link; means defining a transversely extending pivot at the for- ,ward end of said long link; a short, upwardly extending link having a pivotal connection at the lower end thereof to said pivot at the forward end of said long link; a forwardly end upwardly extending link having a pivotal connection at the rear end thereof to said pivot at the lower end of said second depending link; another forwardly extending link, having a pivotal connection to the upper end of said short, upwardly extending link and projecting forwardly below the forward end of said forwardly and upwardly extending link; footrest mounting bracket means secured on the forward end of said other forwardly extending link and having a transversely extending pivot on said bracket means; the forward end of said forwardly and upwardly extending link being pivotally connected to said pivot on the bracket means;
a footrest mounted between the bracket means of the left and right side linkages;
pivot means on each of said left and right side linkages, fixedly disposed against translation thereon with respect to the rails;
a torque tube extending transversely between the left and right side linkages and pivotally mounted to each at the respective ends thereof by the lastmentioned pivot means;
the left and right side linkages each further including an L-shaped seat back mounting link having a first leg that is directed upwardly when the seat back is erect; another transversely extending pivot means on each of said left and right side linkages, fixedly disposed against translation with respect to the rails and disposed near the rear extent of said rails; the second leg of each L-shaped seat back mounting link, near the forward extent thereof, being pivotally mounted on the last-mentioned pivot means; and a second actuator link pivotally connected between the L-shaped seat back mounting link, near the juncture of the two legs thereof, and the V- shaped link of said first parallelogram linkage systern, near the free end of the rearmost leg thereof, so that, as the chair back is reclined, the second actuator link is pushed forwardly, pushing the first parallelogram linkage system in a sense to swing the chair seat and the torque tube forwardly and upwardly;
a crank link fixedly secured to each end of the torque tube and having a portion extending longitudinally therefrom for arcuate movement upon rotation of the torque tube;
the left and right side linkages each further including a lock disposed laterally intermediate the side linkages;
a first lock element on the base and a second lock element on the seat and arm frame unit, one of said elements being pivotally mounted;
a link system pivotally interconnecting the torque tube and the one of said lock elements which is pivotally mounted, for pivoting that lock element in an arc about a horizontal axis upon rotation and upon translation of said torque tube;
the other of the two described lock elements having means defining a cam surface placed to be engaged by the pivotally mounted lock element upon movement of the torque tube in the rotational sense which produces extension of the footrest and upon movement of the torque tube in the translational sense which accompanies reclining of the chair back;
the axis about which the pivotally mounted lock element pivots being so displaced with respect to the spatial disposition of said cam surface on said other of the two described lock elements, that initial contact between the pivotally mounted lock element and said cam surface fully inhibits forward rockability of the rocker cam unit with respect to said base and further movement of said torque tube in either of said senses forces the rocker cam unit to rock backward on the base by a predetermined amount to bucket the chair occupant;
one of the side linkages further including: a footrest catch mechanism, comprising: a shield-like flange secured to the rail of that side linkage and depending therefrom; means defining a plurality of perimetrically spaced notches along an edge of said flange; the pivot means which mount the respective end of the torque tube passing through means defining an opening through said flange a generally right angle link having two legs in two planes, one leg being securely mounted, near the juncture thereof with the other leg, on the last-mentioned pivot means; said one leg projecting longitudinally generally downwardly adjacent the outboard face of said flange sufficiently that the free end thereof extends beyond the perimeter of said flange; said other leg projecting transversely and having an operating handle secured thereon to project generally longitudinally, crank fashion; another link, disposed adjacent the inboard face of said flange and having a follower pin projecting transversely therefrom for engagement in said notches in the edge of said flange; pivot pin means pivotally interconnecting the free end of said one leg of the right angle link to the link from which the follower pin projects, across the thickness of said flange; spring means mounted between said one leg of the right angle link and the link from which the follower pin projects, for biasing the follower pin toward the edge of said flange and thus toward reception in said recesses; and a further pivot pin means pivotally interconnecting the link from which the fol lower pin projects and the longitudinally extending portion of the crank link secured to the respective end of the torque tube, at a point on said longitudinally extending portion intermediate the connection thereof to the torque tube and the pivotal securement of said portion to said first actuator link; the three recited pivot means on the link from which the follower pin projects being so disposed with respect to one another that when rotational force is applied on the operating handle in a sense to retract the footrest, then this link is cocked against the restoration force provided by the spring means to temporarily withdraw the follower pin from the edge of said flange and thus away from said recesses.